Thursday Nov 29 Mission, Texas
Off to the Races
Look at these two beautiful young women all decked out in the very best of floral finery. Isn't it amazing how a night at the races causes the female of the species to bedeck themselves in nature's finest. There is obviously more to this story, and that is what follows.
First a quick up date since I have been slightly remiss in posting the Daily Journal every day. Okay, so I haven't posted for a very long time. We returned safe and sound from our three months in Europe, actually sad that it had to end we were enjoying it so much, but that sadness was quickly replaced by the joy of spending our first winter at our RV lot in Mission, Texas. Which brings us up to the present.
Tonight the Retama Clubhouse patio had been transformed into that famous race track, Downhill Downs. As the post time of 7PM approached the spectators poured into the track, the mint juleps were waiting and the horses were growing more nervous.
The track had been manicured to absolute perfection. The starting gate was in place and the finish line gleamed brightly from the lights that sparkled overhead. Nearby, in the paddock area the horses and the jockey's awaited the call to the post. Suddenly the door to the paddock opened and a voice called out, "It's time."
With that the jockey's and their horses began the journey to the starting line. Once there a hush fell over the crowd as the track announcer asked everyone to join singing the song that is sung before every Retama Derby, My Old Retama Home. As the last of the song faded away, the pre race festivities of the First Annual Retama Derby began in earnest. Because of the desire to have only the finest horses and jockey's available, the field was limited to six entries and the first order of business was to hold the owners auction.
Looking at the horses as they impatiently awaited the end of all these pre race festivities, it is time to give you readers a rundown on these exquisite equines. Beginning with Better Late Than Never, they included Purdue Pete, Danny Boy, Moose, Fuchsia and Terrific Tortoise. Then came what everyone was eagerly awaiting, the vote for the best attired horse and jockey. It was close, but in the end Purdue Pete dropped at as the going go tough and Fuchsia wilted under the pressure, leaving Terrified Tortoise the winner.
What can I say. Not everyone has the ability to dress like this.
As far as the races were concerned, as you can see, in the first race the Clydesdale jumped out to an early lead, but faded badly in the home stretch. With three qualifying races before the Derby Final, the winners were Purdue Pete, Better Late Than Never and Terrific Tortoise. In that first race Terrific Tortoise just couldn't keep up. Then the rain came, well actually just sprinkles, and the Tortoise was in his element, breezing to an easy win. Unfortunately he'd given it all in that race and had nothing left in the Grand Final as Better Late Than Never breezed to an easy win. But as is often the case, it isn't whether you win or lose, but the fact that you were there that really mattered.
Even though we only won one race, Terrific Tortoise and I were still winners, especially since we had the best owner in Sarah. To finish up I'll post a few photos of what goes on behind the scenes at one of these major derby's.